I have made these coffee roasted beets twice now, both times were a success. I hate food waste and have been using my morning coffee grounds as fertilizer in the garden but, reading an article about Noma and their coffee ground roasted beets made me want to try this. I imagined that the smokiness of the coffee would temper the sweetness of the beets and enhance its earthiness. This proved correct and quite delicious. I recommend making these while you are making something else so as not to waste oven heat.
The first time I made these, I mounded and then covered some red beets in a week's worth of damp used coffee grounds. The second time, I used a package of whole coffee beans that a friend had given me. I am a dark roast coffee drinker and, while I appreciate the kindness of friends, if it isn't French roast, it cannot live in my house (hence its wasteful application here.) This version of the idea looks like the creature from the black lagoon because I forgot to buy foil and only had parchment paper on hand.
You can use these beets in salads and sandwiches. They are delicious, thinly sliced, and dressed with a chunky dill, shallot and mustard dressing or, as illustrated below, served with an egg salad (chopped hard-boiled egg, capers, chopped cornichons, finely chopped white onion, some chopped parsley and dill and mayonnaise) and served with rye bread or rye crackers.
1 bunch of red beets, usually four to five beets
Coffee grounds or beans
Preheat the oven to 425.
Tear off an aluminum foil square per beet. Wash the beets well and cut off any greens or stems that are still attached.
Place a tablespoon of coffee on the bottom of one aluminum foil square and set a damp beet upon it. If using small beets you can put two per package. Fold up the four edges of the foil and add additional coffee along the sides and along the top -- the beets do not need to be completely covered -- before crimping and sealing the package tightly. If using beans rather than damp grounds, add a couple of teaspoons of water to each package before closing.
Roast for 30 to 40 minutes depending on the size of the beets and then turn the oven off and let the beets cool down to room temperature in the residual heat of the oven.
Once cool, remove from the oven and open each package, removing the beets and discarding the rest.
Cut the ends of each beet and peel them by rubbing them with a tea towel or paper towel; the peel will come right off.